Category Archives: Recipes

Recipe of the Month – August – Scone-Based Pizza

A vegetable pizza using a scone base

The Pizza is one of the oldest and most beloved comfort foods available to us. First referenced specifically in 997 AD, the Pizza is believed to go back even further. One early example is the Persian soldiers of the Achaemenid Empire, who baked flatbreads topped with cheese and dates on their shields.

Modern pizza itself evolved from similar dishes in Naples in the 18th or early 19th century, when tomatoes were added to create the pizza as we know it. The archetypical pizza margherita, made of tomato, basil and mozzarella, was created, or so the legend attests, by Raffaele Esposito who created it in honour of Queen Margherita as she visited the Royal Palace of Capodimonte.

From there, the pizza spread, thanks largely in part to Italian emigration across the world (Mostly the United Kingdom and United States), and continues to evolve to this day. The archetypical pizza remains as cheese on a base of tomato, layered on a bread-like dough, but from humble beginnings it has become a dish that can be created in a staggering variety of ways. From the pizza bianca which foregoes tomato sauce for olive oil, salt and herbs, to the New York-style pizza known for its huge slices, eaten folded in half, pizza has a huge number of variations. One such variation is this one: The scone-based pizza, which foregoes the traditional, bread-like pizza base for a base that is based on a baked scone.

So, why go for an admittedly less traditional pizza base? Convenience is one point: They are very quick to make. If you’re making an ordinary bread-based pizza base from scratched, you generally need to wait an hour just for the dough to rise.  These pizzas bake in just 20-40 minutes. The scone base also makes for a crispier, heartier base, and absorbs the tomato topping extraordinarily well.

Try it for yourself. Who knows? It may even replace your takeaway. It’s certainly something everybody should try at least once!


225g (8oz) Self-Raising Flour
Pinch of Salt
50g (2oz) Butter or Margarine
150ml (1/4 Pint) of Milk
4 Tbsp Passata Sauce/Tomato Puree/Pesto
8 Slices Chorizo/Pepperoni/Salami/Ham (Or any mixture of the four)
1/2 Small Red Onion, Sliced
1/2 Green Pepper, Sliced or Diced
2 Mushrooms, Thinly Sliced
2 Small Tomatoes, Sliced or Diced
4 Tablespoons Grated Mozzarella (Or Cheese of Choice)

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees (Fan)/200 degrees (Conventional)/Gas Mark 6
2. Grease 2 baking sheets
3. Mix flour and salt then rub in butter or margarine. Add the milk gradually, to create a soft and pliable dough.
4. Knead lightly on a floured surface.
5. Divide into 4 balls and roll each ball into a 6 inch circle, about 1cm thick
6. Place the dough onto the greased baking sheets
7. Spread the dough with the chosen sauce topping.
8. Add your favourite toppings!
9. Sprinkle with chosen cheese.
10. Bake for 20 to 40 minutes, until the base and cheese are golden brown.

Recipe of the Month – July – Nyama Stew (Zimbabwean Beef Stew)

In Zimbabwe, this beef stew is practically a staple of the national diet. It’s a common, A warming plate of stew, served with pap/maize porridgeuncomplicated dish that is served at a number of events including during festivities, weddings and funerals. It includes a number of improvements over your standard beef stew, including garlic, all spice and curry powder.

Nyama translates to ‘meat’, but in this context refers to beef stew. It may be uncomplicated and relatively easy to make, but it packs a wonderful punch of flavour. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different vegetables, cuts of beef etc; to make the stew unique to you and your own clan!

2.5kg lean stewing beef
2 tins chopped tomatoes
3 onions, chopped
2 red peppers, chopped
Green cabbage or kale, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp All Spice seasoning
1 tbsp South African curry powder
2 beef stock cubes dissolved in water
Vegetable oil


  1. Brown the beef in a little oil.
  2. Add about 1tbsp of All Spice and the curry powder. Stir until the liquid reduces by half.
  3. Add the onions, peppers and garlic. Cook until softened.
  4. Add thge chopped tomatoes, cabbage and stock.
  5. Simmer until the meat is cooked and tender.
  6. Serve and enjoy!


In Zimbabwe, this hearty stew often uses every part of the animal. These are prized in Zimbabwean cuisine and, once you have tasted the beauty of ox tail, you will certainly know why! Experiment with different cuts of meat, add as many or as little as you desire, and include offal if you want.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different vegetables either. For an African twist, try adding plantains: These close relatives of the banana are starchier but are fantastic for adding a new dimension of flavour to the stew, whilst also making it heartier.

The stew can be served on its own or with rice. Alternatively, for another African twist, serve it with pap (Maize porridge)


Paella is a Spanish, specifically Valencian, dish. Paella itself simply translates to “pan”, with Valencians using the word to describe all pans, with paellera describing the specific pan used for paella. Indeed, it is this large, steel double-handled pan which makes paella appear so inviting, particularly for large groups.

As with other recipes around the world, paella has expanded past its regional beginnings in Valencia and has become a wonderfully global dish, including a wide variety of meats (Although the classic Valencian paella only includes seafood), vegetables and other ingredients.

This recipe includes chicken and chorizo, as well as paprika, for a hearty Iberian flavour. This
dish is certainly a popular one in summer, and its flavours will take you to the sun-drenched shores of Spain. Take it to a party or share it with your family with some cold drinks on a hot summer’s evening: There’s little better in life than this!

As a last note, do not worry if a crust forms beneath the paella during cooking: This layer of toasted rice is, in fact, a delicacy! It’s referred to as socarrat in Catalan and some even consider it essential to a good paella! Just don’t let it burn!

2 cloves of garlic
1 onion
1 carrot
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley (15g)
70g chorizo
2 chicken thighs skin of bone out
Olive oil
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 red pepper
1 tbs Tomato puree
1 chicken stock cube
300g paella rice
100g frozen peas
200g frozen peeled cooked prawns
1 lemon


  1. Peel and finely slice the garlic, peel and roughly chop the onion and carrot. Finely chop the parsley stalks, then roughly chop the chorizo and chicken thighs.
  2. Put a lug of oil into a large lidded shallow casserole or paella pan on a medium heat, add the garlic, onion, carrot, parsley stalks, chorizo, chicken and paprika, and fry for around 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. Deseed and chop the pepper, then add to the pan for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Stir through the tomato purée and crumble in the stock cube, then add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes so it starts to suck up all that lovely flavour.
  5. Pour in 750ml of boiling water and add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Pop the lid on and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly from the outside in and from the inside out, and adding a splash of water if needed.
  6. Stir in the peas and prawns, replace the lid, and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until hot through.
  7. Season to perfection, then chop the parsley leaves, scatter them over the paella, and serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over.


If you’re feeling a bit flush, adding six mussels, six clams and any extra bits of fish you can afford is only going to make it even more of a celebration.



For an 8 inch round cake tin/loaf tin OR 2 loaf tins

8oz to10oz Plain flour

2tsp to 2.5tsp ground ginger

1tsp to 1.25tsp mixed spice

1tsp to 1.25tsp bicarbonate of soda

2oz to 2.5oz soft brown sugar

4oz to 5oz margarine

8oz to10oz golden syrup

1/4 to 1/2 pint milk

2 eggs beaten


Grease and line the required baking tin(s).

Melt the margarine, syrup and sugar together, mix well and set aside.

In mixing bowl sieve together the flour ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda.

Add the milk to the melted syrup mixture to cool slightly before adding the beaten eggs, stir well.

Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk, (the mixture will be quite runny).

Pour the mixture into the lined cake tin and bake in a slow over at 150c, 300f or gas mark 2 for about 1 hour to 1.25 hrs



Pizza wraps are easy to make, they taste great and don’t need any additional sides as they are great on their own. For the best results make sure all the correct ingredients are prepared and you have the equipment to cook them.

Preparation time: less than 20 minutes

Cooking time: 3 to 8 minutes

Each wrap serves: Serves 1


1 wrap

2 tsp of tomato puree

1 small cup of grated cheese

plus any additional toppings:






Chilli flakes



Get a plain wrap and place on a chopping board

Add 2 tsp of tomato puree and spread it evenly across the wrap

Add a cup of grated cheese through the middle of the wrap and add any additional toppings if wanted.

Then fold the bottom of your wrap and roll it until its tightly wrapped.

Lastly put the wrap either in the over or better in the grill and leave it there for around 3-8 minutes until the outside is crisp and the inside has melted and its heated throughout.

Then it is ready to eat.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH – March Cheese Scones

The Healthy Cooking Team have been working with the Men’s Good Grub Club and this is one of their favourite recipes.


500ml self-raising flour (2 cups)

15ml backing poweder (3 tsp)

Large pinch of salt

Sprinkle of cayenne pepper/chilli powder or teaspoon of wholegrain mustard (optional)

250ml strong cheddar cheese

15ml vegetable oil (3 tsp)

125ml milk (maybe a bit more depending on how it mixes)

1 egg


Sift flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper into a large bowl. Add the cheese and mix through the flour mixture.

Beat the egg and milk together in a separate bowl and add the oil.  The oil replaces the butter/margarine which is usually used for scones.

Pour the milk/egg/oil mixture into the flour mixture and using a metal spoon or fork, mix the dough until it clumps together, but is not too dry.  If too dry, splash a bit more milk in to use up the flour.

Press the dough out on a flat clean floured surface until it is about 5mm thick, then fold it over on top of itself (this gives the finished scones the natural “break” to cut open), flatten it again, using the palm of your hand.  Do not use a rolling pin as it is too heavy and will prevent the scones from rising.

Cut out your scones by using a round cutter (you decide on the size) or if you don’t have a cutter handy use a drinking glass. Place them on a backing tray and pop them in the oven at 180c for 15 to 20 minutes.

Service with butter whilst still warm.



RECIPE OF THE MONTH – February Muffins

Kendra’s Muffins

Kendra make a dairy free version of these muffins for her nephew using water instead of milk and vegetable spread instead of butter to produce a lighter fluffier version of these muffins.


10oz/300g    Plain flour

8oz/250g      Melted butter

6oz/180g      Sugar

2 tbsp            Baking powder

1 tsp              Cinnamon

1 tsp               Salt

2                     Eggs

Muffin cases


Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl and make a well in the centre.  Beat 2 eggs add melted butter and all the milk together then pour into the well.  Mix with a spatula or spoon – don’t over mix – bake at 425f/220c/GM7 for 15 to 20 minutes



RECIPE OF THE MONTH – January’s Red Pepper Soup with Lime


4 red peppers, seeded and chopped

1 large onion, chopped

5ml/1tsp olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 small red chilli, sliced

45ml/3tbsp tomato puree

900ml/1.5 pints, chicken stock

Finely grated rind & juice of 1 lime

Salt & Black pepper


Cook the onions and peppers gently in the oil in a covered saucepan for about 5 minutes, stirring the pan occasionally, until softened.

Stir in the garlic and then add the chilli with the tomato puree.  Stir in half the stock, and then bring to the boil.  Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.

Cool, then puree in a food processer or blender.  Return to the pan, adding the remaining stock, the lime rind and juice, and seasoning

Bring the soup back to the boil.  Serv e with a few strips of lime rind.


Chunky Tomato Salsa


Makes: 1 bowl of salsa

1 clove of garlic, very finely chopped

1 medium onion, very finely chopped

3 large tomatoes, very finely chopped

1 lime, juiced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander

1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder

3 pinches of salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin


Prep: 15 mins | Extra time: 30 mins, marinating

Mix all together and enjoy

For best results, leave for 30 minutes to marinate.

Guacamole Dip


Serves: 4

2 ripe avocados

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1 tomato, chopped or a spoonful or salsa

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

1/2 lime, juiced

2 garlic cloves, minced or through a garlic press

Salt to taste


Pref: 10 mins | Extra time: 1 hour, chilling

Cut the avocados in half and remove the stone.  Using a knife, slice the avocado flesh lengthways and crossways to make little squares, scoop it from the skin into a bowl and then mash them using a fork or masher.

Add the remaining ingredients, mix it together and add salt to taste if required.

Chill for 1 hour before serving to allow flavours to marinate.

Tip: Push the stones into the mix to stop browning. Remove before serving.